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CRC Column

The right to criticize government is also an obligation to know what you are talking about. 
-Lent Upson, 1st Executive Director of CRC  


State Legislature Issues

State Legislature

Statewide Ballot Issues: Proposal 2012-05
Two-Thirds Vote to Increase State Taxes

Memo 1120 ( September 2012 ) 6 pages

On November 6, 2012, Michigan voters will determine whether the Michigan Constitution should be amended to require either an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members serving in each chamber of the Michigan legislature (House of Representatives and Senate), or an affirmative vote of Michigan electors at a November election in order to; a) impose new state taxes, b) expand the base of a state tax, or c) increase the rate of a state tax.

This is an analysis of this proposed constitutional amendment that looks at what taxes would be covered and current supermajority vote requirements in the Michigan Constitution. The analysis considers how this tax limitation would interact with Michigan's existing tax and expenditure limitations, looks at similar requirements in other states, and considers a number of arguments that can be made for and against this proposed amendment.

Legislative Term Limits and Full-Time and Part-Time Legislatures
Note 2007-03, ( June 2007 ) 4 pages

Proposals for a part time legislature have resurfaced in Lansing as part of discussions on restructuring and reducing the cost of state government. Unless the state's Constitution is amended, any proposed new restrictions on the duration of legislative sessions would be superimposed on Michigan's existing legislative term limits, which are among the most restrictive in the nation. In its most recent CRC Note, Citizens Research Council examines the interplay of term limits and full- and part-time legislatures in the 50 states.

Michigan is one of only four states that have a full-time legislature that is paid accordingly; seven other states have a nearly full-time legislature. Of the 15 states that currently have legislative term limits, Michigan and California have true full-time legislatures, while Florida and Ohio have nearly full-time legislatures. Term limited legislatures in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma are considered hybrid, in that legislators typically spend about two-thirds of the time that would be required by a full-time job, although regular legislative sessions may be scheduled for only a few months of the year. Maine, Montana, Nevada, and South Dakota have both legislative term limits and part-time legislatures, in which legislators spend less than half of the time that a full-time job would require.

Michigan is in the ironic position of having no restrictions on the length of its legislative sessions while at the same time having one of the most stringent term limit restrictions in the nation.

Report 313-6, pdf File The Legislative Branch, Examines provisions of Article 4 that a convention might consider: legislative apportionment; legislative immunity from civil process; pay setting procedures; legislative disposition of administrative agency rules; and authorization to enact public sector collective bargaining laws ( August 94 ) 4 pages [30,484 bytes]

CC 936, State Ballot Issues: Proposal A -- Restrict Legislative Civil Immunity; Proposal G -- Election of Public Service Commission ( October 82 ) 5 pages

CC 919, State Ballot Issues: Proposal E -- Increase in Income Tax for Corrections (defeated 37% for to 63% against); Proposal B -- Lowering the Drinking Age; Proposal G -- Civil Immunity for Legislators; Proposal H -- Lieutenant Governor (a constitution ( October 80 ) 4 pages

PDF Document The Unicameral Legislature,
CC 706, ( February 60 ) 4 pages

Recurrence of the suggestion of a single-house legislature for Michigan prompted this brief analysis of the legislative options. This paper considers the circumstances in which unicameral legislatures have worked, provides a brief history, examines the Nebraska experiment, and weighs the prosa and cons of the unicameral option.

pdf File American Experience with Unicameral Legislatures
Report 147, ( December 37 ) 33 pages

This report attempts to portray the development of the English Parliament-- the Mother of Parliaments--as a bicameral institution and its present trend away from the status, the history of provincial legislatures in colonial America, the necessities that led the Constitutional Convention of 1787 to adopt a bicameral congress, the aping of the federal form by both states and cities, the early Vermont experiment with unicameralism, the general discarding of the bicameral system by cities, the Nebraska experiment, the possible application of the unicameral system to Michigan.

State Legislators: Terms, Compensation, etc.

Legislative Term Limits and Full-Time and Part-Time Legislatures
Note 2007-03, ( June 2007 ) 4 pages

Proposals for a part time legislature have resurfaced in Lansing as part of discussions on restructuring and reducing the cost of state government. Unless the state's Constitution is amended, any proposed new restrictions on the duration of legislative sessions would be superimposed on Michigan's existing legislative term limits, which are among the most restrictive in the nation. In its most recent CRC Note, Citizens Research Council examines the interplay of term limits and full- and part-time legislatures in the 50 states.

Michigan is one of only four states that have a full-time legislature that is paid accordingly; seven other states have a nearly full-time legislature. Of the 15 states that currently have legislative term limits, Michigan and California have true full-time legislatures, while Florida and Ohio have nearly full-time legislatures. Term limited legislatures in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma are considered hybrid, in that legislators typically spend about two-thirds of the time that would be required by a full-time job, although regular legislative sessions may be scheduled for only a few months of the year. Maine, Montana, Nevada, and South Dakota have both legislative term limits and part-time legislatures, in which legislators spend less than half of the time that a full-time job would require.

Michigan is in the ironic position of having no restrictions on the length of its legislative sessions while at the same time having one of the most stringent term limit restrictions in the nation.

State Ballot Issues on the August Primary Ballot,
CRC Memo 1062, ( June 2002 ) 8 pages

Proposal 02-01: Compensation of Certain Elected State Officials discusses a proposed Constitutional amendment that would alter the process for accepting recommendations of the State Officers Compensation Commission.

Proposal 02-02: Changing Limits in Natural Resources Trust Fund and State Parks Endowment Fund; Investing Trust and Endowment Funds in Stocks discusses a proposed Constitutional amendment that would increase the overall cap on assets in the Natural Resources Trust Fund; permit one-third of revenues to the trust fund to be appropriated until the fund reaches $500 million in assets; permit $6.5 million to be appropriated from the Genevieve Gillette State Parks Endowment Fund; and remove the prohibition against ownership of stock by state permenant and endowment funds.

pdf File State Ballot Issues, August 6, 1968
CC 806, ( July 68 ) 4 pages

State Ballot Issues:
   #1 -- Judicial Tenure Commission;
   #2 -- State Officers Compensation Commission;
   #3 -- Filling of Judicial Vacancies.

pdf File Proposed Amendments to State Constitution and Detroit City Charter
CC 846, ( April 72 ) 4 pages

State -- Proposal A -- The Lottery Proposal;
Proposal B -- Appointment or Election of Legislators to Other Offices;
Detroit -- Allow Admission Charges to Cultural Institutions

State Legislatures--Organization and Procedure

Report 313-6, pdf File The Legislative Branch, Examines provisions of Article 4 that a convention might consider: legislative apportionment; legislative immunity from civil process; pay setting procedures; legislative disposition of administrative agency rules; and authorization to enact public sector collective bargaining laws ( August 94 ) 4 pages [30,484 bytes]

CC 961, pdf File State Ballot Issues - I: Proposal B -- Legislative Review of Administrative Rules Analyzed the administrative rules proposal which was on the statewide ballot at the November 1986 general election. ( September 86 ) 4 pages [36 KB]

CC 950, pdf File State Ballot Issues: Proposal A -- Legislative Review of Administrative Rules; Proposal B -- Natural Resources Trust Fund Analyzed the administrative rules and natural resources proposals which were on the statewide ballot at the November 1984 general election. ( October 84 ) 8 pages [49 KB]

Legislative Auditor General

The Role of the Auditor General in the Legislative Branch
Misc., ( February 65 ) 8 pages

A dinner was held to introduce the 1965-1966 Michigan Legislature to the Citizens Research Council of Michigan. The keynote speaker was Karney A. Brasfield, of Washington, D.C., who discussed the role of the auditor general in the legislative branch. This new constitutional office offered the legislature a mechanism with tremendous potential for improving its oversight of its policy decisions and the effectiveness of their execution by the departments and agencies of the state. For that reason, Mr. Brasfield's comments were considered to be especially timely and pertinent.

State Legislation, Legislative Aids, Uniform Laws, Statutory Revision

Report 313-6, pdf File The Legislative Branch, Examines provisions of Article 4 that a convention might consider: legislative apportionment; legislative immunity from civil process; pay setting procedures; legislative disposition of administrative agency rules; and authorization to enact public sector collective bargaining laws ( August 94 ) 4 pages [30,484 bytes]

CC 961, pdf File State Ballot Issues - I: Proposal B -- Legislative Review of Administrative Rules Analyzed the administrative rules proposal which was on the statewide ballot at the November 1986 general election. ( September 86 ) 4 pages [36 KB]

CC 950, pdf File State Ballot Issues: Proposal A -- Legislative Review of Administrative Rules; Proposal B -- Natural Resources Trust Fund Analyzed the administrative rules and natural resources proposals which were on the statewide ballot at the November 1984 general election. ( October 84 ) 8 pages [49 KB]

Local Financial Emergencies Legislation

CC 978, pdf File Insuring Fiscal Responsibility in Local Units of Government ( December 88 ) 8 pages

 

 

 

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Last Updated September 26, 2012